Giants from the vegetable growing world prepare for heavy weight battle

THEY may not look pretty, but the monster marrows, colossal cabbages and super-sized swedes weighing in at the region’s best autumn show will be among the largest veg in the UK!

World record holders and giant vegetable growers from around the country will be sizing up the competition in Peterborough on Sunday October 9 at the annual Autumn Food & Country Fair.

The East of England Giant Vegetable Competition has become one of the event’s most popular attractions, with visitors in awe of tonnes of heavy weight produce – as contestants battle it out for the title of longest, heaviest and largest.

Now in its eighth year, entries range from keen amateurs to an impressive Who’s Who of growers.

Overseeing the weigh in on the day will be giant veg growing guru and competition organiser, Northamptonshire’s Clive Bevan – whose skills have taken him around the world to advise growers in countries like China and Malaysia.

Clive said: “It doesn’t have to be a beauty contest – it’s all about the weight, and past years have showcased some amazing success stories in Peterborough.”

And if it’s top tips you are looking for when attempting to boost your brassicas or pump up your parsnips, the expert growers – some of whom have exhibited at the East of England Giant Vegetable Competition – have plenty.

Many of the growers are expected to be around on the day to share some of their secrets, including Nottinghamshire’s Peter Glazebrook – a world record holder in many achievements including heaviest carrot 9.09kg heaviest cauliflower 27.48kg and largest potato 4.98kg – and South Wales grower Ian Neale, who holds the title of the world’s heaviest swede at 118.8lbs.

Ian will be hot footing it to the show from a recent trip to America, where he has been invited to give talks to growers, particularly those interested in pumpkins!

Kevin Fortey from Wales is long-time supporter of and participant in the competition. At the 2014 show Kevin was awarded the top accolade for heaviest marrow (72 kg); heaviest tomato (1,923 gms) and heaviest beetroot (15.8 kg).

Also visiting will be Shropshire grower Graham Tranter, renowned for top tomatoes; and Tim Saint from Henley-on-Thames – super-sized squash grower extraordinaire!

For a run down of Record Breaking vegetables visit here

And there’s plenty more family fun at the Autumn Food & Country Fair including:

– Super star Shetland Pony, Thunder Pants, from Ely – who be showing the crowd his moves in the main display ring from dressage to music, showjumping and fancy dress fun.
– Canine events
– Personal appearances at intervals throughout the day by from Scooby-Doo™
– Exhibitions of rare breed cattle, sheep, pigs and goats
– Daring displays
– Dozens of trade stands
– Kids Country events for children
– Classic car and vintage tractor displays
– Little Rovers pint sized land rovers for youngsters to drive around a circuit
– British Pig Association Young Stock Handlers
– Dog & Duck Display
– Birds of Prey Display
– Fun fair
– Food, drink and shopping area
– Vintage vehicles
– Wisbech Shire Horse Show
– WI Open Baking Competition

There is free parking and gates open at 8am. Advance tickets are on sale now priced adult £8, senior citizen £6, child (aged 5-16) £4, family £20 (2 adults, 2 children).

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